At the end of August, I had the opportunity to appear on Red River Radio with fellow mystery author and Sister in Crime, Radine Trees Nehring. After I heard about her mystery A FAIR TO DIE FOR (Oak Tree Press, 2012), the 7th Something to Die For Mystery, I knew I wanted to have her over here to share a “bite.” I am delighted to have her join me here today. She also shares a no-thaw meatloaf recipe, which sounds perfect for me these days!
Who are your main character? What are they like?
A FAIR TO DIE FOR features two main characters: Carrie McCrite (a retired reference librarian) and Henry King, (divorced, and a retired Kansas City Police Major in the Homicide Division. Each of them moved to Arkansas on a quest, Carrie to forge an independent life after the death of her parents and first husband, and Henry to locate a daughter he has never seen. The two meet, and, in the third series novel, are married.
What would Carrie McCrite and Henry King choose for their last meals?
Carrie probably could not answer this question because she thinks very little about either cooking or eating. Her husband, Henry King, does enjoy his food, and his on-line friendship with chef John Bohnert is featured in this novel. Henry’s recipe for Sort-of Tomato Soup is one of the recipes appearing in the story along with a couple of Chef Bohnert’s special recipes.
How about you? What would you choose for your last meal?
Today I would say a special treat meal would include medium prime rib and a fluffy baked potato. I recently enjoyed those when my husband and I celebrated an anniversary.
Why should someone bite into A FAIR TO DIE FOR?
It’s October—craft season in the Ozarks, and people from distant areas of the United States as well as locals are enjoying the many craft fairs in the area. One of the largest and longest-running, the War Eagle Fair, has judged Carrie’s best friend, Shirley Booth, as eligible to display and sell her baby quilts and cuddlies during the four days of the fair–when up to 200,000 visitors are expected. Though the fair is closely regulated and guards are on hand, perhaps you can guess at crimes that fit easily into a craft fair setting. Shirley and Carrie are blissfully unaware of these until a maybe cousin of Carrie’s appears, and . . . .
Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?
As I said, Carrie is no cook and has paid little attention to recipes at any time in her life, but when she needs a recipe for meat loaf, “No Thaw Meat Loaf” is what she comes up with. The Nehrings enjoy this meal fairly frequently, and readers have named it their favorite of all the recipes included in my novels to date.
CARRIE McCRITE’S NO-THAW MEAT LOAF
Preparation time: 15 minutes. Oven time at 350: 1:30
1 pound lean hamburger rmeat, frozen in its original package
1 large onion, sliced in length-wise strips
1 large bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, sliced into length-wise strips
1 can no-fat beef broth or similar beef juice product
1 individual-size can, tomato-juice. (Note: feel free to use your imagination here. Left-over picante sauce, salsa, or whatever tomato something-or-other the refrigerator holds will also do quite well. You may also add garlic, basil leaves, or other seasonings to the liquid.
Salt and pepper.
Unwrap meat, (still frozen solid), and plunk it down in a large casserole dish or roaster with a lid.
Salt and pepper the meat lump.
Pile slices of onion and green pepper artfully over the top.
Pour beef broth and liquid tomato product around the sides of the meat. If the tomato product you chose is thick, add water so there is plenty of liquid around the meat, (but not over the top of it) at all times during baking.
Bake, covered, for an hour and a half. (The meat will have a pinkish tinge throughout when done because of the tomato juice.)
Want gravy? Thicken juice at the end by adding a tablespoon or two of cornstarch blended with a bit of water and stirred thoroughly into the liquid. Return pan to oven until gravy thickens. You can also pour the liquid into a pan and heat over a stove top burner until thickened.
Serve with boiled potatoes or rice, vegetable, and fruit.
I have to say, this sounds like the perfect meal for me these days, as I have just returned to teaching, and it is so hard to remember to thaw meat to cook for dinner! A FAIR TO DIE FOR sounds so intriguing! Thank you so much for joining me here today!